Freedom-what it is and what it’s not-is the core principle of Adam’s original relationship and the purpose of this book. In the Genesis account, God, the Creator, placed the man in the Garden and said, “You are free.”
And the LORD God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.” -GENESIS 2:16-17, EMPHASIS ADDED
God declared man free and gave him work. Freedom is basic to God’s will for man. Adam was free to produce, duplicate, multiply and replenish everything God had given him to do, but he wasn’t free to violate the law of God. God put just one item in the Garden to maintain man’s obedience-the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Imagine the millions of trees God had made, yet He placed a “No Trespassing” sign in front of just one of them. This was necessary in order to activate the will of man through the power of choice.
Deliverance Is not Freedom
You may have built a nice little homestead on the edge of Sinai’s wilderness. You have become comfortable in your oppression, but you know there is so much more that God has in store for you. You’ve given up on miracles because you don’t see them anymore. You haven’t been listening to the mentors assigned to your life. And you haven’t been faithful to God’s Word. You’ve been delivered, but you aren’t living free.
Still, you know there’s more to this life. That’s why I’m writing to you. There is no way to walk into freedom without shouldering its responsibility. If you want that promotion to general manager, you must want the position’s responsibility. The price of responsibility requires more time, talent, energy, initiative and substance. The title is nice, and the pay is wonderful, but the workload is sevenfold. You have to be there earlier than everyone else and be the last one to leave when you are in charge. If anything goes wrong, they call you-day or night. If the water pipe bursts at 3 A.M., get ready for a phone call. The nine-to-five work day doesn’t apply to you anymore, because now you’re the general manager, and now you work all the time.
It’s easy to be a janitor, because you can leave at five. When you’re working as a clerk, you can sometimes slip out for a two-hour lunch, and nobody cares too much. But if you ever want to progress, you will have to grow up into the responsibility of freedom, because there is a cost to being free.
Being released from the oppressor does not guarantee a release from oppression, responsibility does.
Responsibility makes the hard-working choices to get up earlier and work into the night to get the job done. And this is what freedom allows us to do when we honestly want to be truly free.
– The Burden Of Freedom